Depending on where you’re located, allergy season can be all year long. From pollen to pet dander, allergies can vary from a slight annoyance to a daily battle that affects your quality of life. Runny nose and itchy eyes are the symptoms that are most familiar and can be the first sign that you’re suffering from allergies.
But some will experience advanced symptoms such as loss of hearing, bad balance, and tinnitus. Increased pressure in the inner and middle ear is the reason for these symptoms.
Why is Your Hearing Affected by Allergies?
Your body produces a chemical called histamine when it detects an environmental allergen. The familiar itchy eyes and runny nose are the outcomes of this release. Fluid accumulation in the inner ear is a less common symptom. The fluid stops the allergen from going deeper into your ear canal. The resulting pressure can cause issues with your equilibrium leading to a clogged ear, difficulty hearing, and balance issues.
Treatment Solutions For Hearing Loss Caused by Allergies
There are numerous ways to treat the symptoms of allergies. Over-the-counter medications like Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra are generally the first options. These products are used to treat mild conditions and can start working in as little as one dose with the maximum effect manifesting after a few days of use. These products are also safe for continued long term use if needed. Other allergy medication can be used short term but aren’t recommended as a long term solution because of their possible side effects, these medications include Sudafed, Afrin, and Benadryl.
There are also natural solutions that can be used on their own or combined with over-the-counter medications. These include saline sprays or a Neti pot. A vapor tablet, in certain situations, when used in a hot shower can be really helpful also. You can also take steps to change your environment such as getting an air purifier, cleaning dust off surfaces with a damp cloth, and washing your fabrics with hot water every two weeks. If you have pets and have trouble with pet dander, be sure to give your pets a bath frequently.
Already Tried All That?
Over-the-counter and natural remedies might not work in some situations. When none of these methods help over the course of a few weeks professional assistance may be needed. To figure out if you need an allergy shot, you will have to go see an allergist. These shots will be given in slowly increasing doses once a week for up to six months before changing to a monthly shot. These shots work by introducing a small bit of allergen into your system which allows your body to learn how to cope with it. This approach does require a long-term commitment of up to five years, although, patients often feel relief starting at around eight months.
If none of the above strategies deliver relief, and you’ve made sure the pressure in your ears isn’t caused by an ear infection, then it is time to get your hearing checked.